News / Africa

Dire Situations in CAR, DRC Overshadowed by Syria

FILE - Refugees from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) wait at the Busunga border in western Uganda, July 13, 2013.
FILE - Refugees from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) wait at the Busunga border in western Uganda, July 13, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
A senior U.N. official says the dire humanitarian situations in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo are being overshadowed by the crisis in Syria.  The official was part of an assessment mission to both African countries by the directors of emergencies for seven major U.N. agencies and two private organizations. 

The emergencies directors, who visited the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo between October 17 and 24, say they are concerned by the growing humanitarian crises in the two countries.

They note humanitarian requirements have nearly tripled in the CAR following a March coup by Seleka rebels.  And, they say there has been a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the DRC this year, with upsurges in conflict, violence and displacement.

Emergencies Director of the U.N. Children’s Fund, Ted Chaiban, says no one questions the need to support the millions of victims of Syria’s conflict.  At the same time, he says the mission is beginning to see how funding for Syria is impacting other crises. 

For example, while the mission was in the DRC, he says it became clear the World Food Program had very limited resources left for its program in central Africa.

“We work together as a family and if the World Food Program does not have financing for its program, then the rest of what we do in terms of malnutrition, treatment of severe malnutrition -  working together on moderate and acute malnutrition - is not going to make a difference.  So we were quite concerned and, I think they believe that this is a clear consequence of significant amount of resources going to Syria,” he said. 

Chaiban says WFP’s $478 million appeal for the DRC is only 15 percent funded.  He says agencies including UNICEF, the U.N. refugee agency, and the World Health Organization also are feeling the financial pinch. 

And this is affecting their ability to assist millions of DRC residents who have been suffering from nearly two decades of war.  Some 2.5 million people are internally displaced in the country.  Tens of thousands are victims of rape and sexual violence, many of them children.  UNICEF reports the DRC is also affected by a chronic nutrition and health crisis.

UNICEF’s Chaiban says the situation in the CAR is possibly even more problematic.  He says virtually the whole population of 4.6 million people is hit by violence and lawlessness in the country.  He says 1.6 million are estimated to be in dire need of food, protection, health care, water and sanitation and shelter.

“The situation is fragile, but it could even get worse," he said.  "When we were there we saw some communal tension and confrontation in a town called Bossangoa, which we went to and these tensions are developing in many parts of CAR.  And, it is very clear that there needs to be attention and quick support both in terms of political transition, but also in terms of the work that can be done to support stabilizing the situation as well as working on the humanitarian situation in order to avoid the worst.” 

Chaiban says thus far, only 39 percent of the $195 million needed in the CAR until the end of the year has been provided.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid